Kota has a target of December 2017 to become 100 per cent Open Defecation Free. It is, perhaps, the only place where the share of Municipal Corporation has been increased by two times in comparison to the Central and State Governments for building toilets, says Mahesh Vijay, Mayor, Kota City, in conversation with Kartik Sharma and Harshal Y Desai of Elets News Network (ENN).
“Vehicles worth Rs 40 crores are set to be used to the existing fleet that will collect waste from various points in the city on a daily basis.”
How do you perceive Kota city being selected under the Smart Cities Mission?
Kota being selected under the Smart Cities Mission is itself an achievement for the citizens of Kota. It is expected that the city would generate Rs 1,000 crore in next five years. This fund will be utilised for the development of infrastructure. We have planned several projects like development of green belts, sewage systems, tourism, strengthening of water supply etc where the fund will be utilised.
What plans do you have in the pipeline?
The development projects of Kota will get it recognised on an international level. As the first major initiative, development of Dussehra Ground has started. We are spending about Rs 174 crore in developing this ground on the lines of Pragati Maidan (in New Delhi). The project will be completed in three phases. The city is now under surveillance as CCTV cameras have been placed across the length and breadth of the city. These cameras are being monitored through state-of-the-art control system inaugurated by Honourable Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje recently. We have also launched a mobile application which will allow citizens to communicate with the Municipal Corporation in the comfort of their homes. We are working to introduce smart cards and some other smart services for the city buses.
What steps have been taken by the Municipal Corporation of Kota under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’?
We are fortunate to work under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Swachh Bharat Mission is one of the most ambitious projects of the Central Government and the Government of Rajasthan is making every possible effort to execute it successfully in the State. We, at Kota Municipal Corporation, have taken this project as one of our priorities and ensured that the major components of the mission are in place.
As a pilot project, we have started collecting waste door-to-door in some parts of the city and through that experience, we are all set to start door-to-door collection in all the parts of Kota. All the garbage collection points have been walled, so that the waste is not spilled on the roads. Designer dustbins have been installed recently across the city.
Various awareness programmes for waste collection are being carried out in the city. Further, we are soon going to add vehicles worth Rs 40 crores to our fleet that will collect waste from various points in the city daily.
“The development projects of Kota will get it recognised on an international level. As the first major initiative, development of Dussehra Ground has started. We are spending about Rs 174 crore in developing this ground on the lines of Pragati Maidan (in New Delhi).”
Tell us about Kota’s roadmap to turn an Open Defecation Free place.
We have been successful in making Kota Open Defecation Free. I appreciate the efforts of Rohit Gupta, CEO of Kota Smart City Limited and Dr Vikram Jindal, Additional CEO of Kota Smart City Limited. The Municipal Corporation of Kota has already identified 12,000 such places where it will build the toilets. We are targeting December 2017 to make the city 100 per cent open defecation free. Kota is perhaps the only place where the share of Municipal Corporation has been increased to two times as that of Central and State Governments for building toilets.